My favorite stormwater blogger, Barry Fagan, is improbably located in Alabama, improbably employed by a DOT and yet is a fascinating and intellectually challenging champion of change, particularly in the stormwater arena. I only wish he was in a position to give the presentation he outlines below, not just to the Civil Engineering department at his Alma mater, but at every civil engineering department in the country. Read on, I think you’ll agree:
I had the honor of being invited to be a part of the Auburn University Environmental and Water Resources Engineering seminar series this week. I spoke to a crowd of civil, environmental, and chemical engineers and faculty. I spoke in a room that I last stepped in over 21 years ago. I enjoyed the experience and thought you might like to hear some of the highlights of my talk.
1. Green, gray, or purple – it’s all infrastructure. – Infrastructure includes both built and natural facilities and process needed to sustain a healthy society. Required natural elements of infrastructure also deserve our stewardship but are sometimes dismissed by the practicing civil engineer.
2. Civil Engineers own infrastructure. – Civil engineers are the most qualified professionals to design, build, and maintain infrastructure. It’s in our charter and we have thousands of years of history and experience to contribute.
3. “How we’ve always done it” isn’t working very well. – The American Society of Civil Engineers gives our overall infrastructure a fitness grade of D+. We have failed for over 30 years to meet our 43 year-old National water quality goals. Our infrastructure funding approach is flawed, our regulatory approach is flawed, our design and implementation approach is flawed. Civil engineers should reevaluate our approaches and set out to change all three. –(December 2015) by Robert Adair, guest blogger on Convergent Water Technologies Stormwater Blog.